I don’t care what Biden thinks of me, says Saudi Crown Prince

March 03, 2022

Saudi Gazette report

RIYADH – Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, deputy prime minister and minister of defense, has said he simply doesn't care whether US President Joe Biden misunderstands him or not.

In an interview with The Atlantic published on Thursday, Prince Mohammed said his aim was to strengthen Riyadh's long, historical relationship with Washington, but he was not concerned about whether Biden misunderstood him.

"Simply, I do not care," the crown prince was quoted as saying. "It's up to him to think about the interests of America."

Crown Prince said: “We have a long, historic relationship with the United States. For us in Saudi Arabia, our aim is to keep it and to strengthen it.”

“We have a political interest, we have economic interests, we have a security interest, we have defense interests, we have trade interests, we have a lot. It's huge. And we have a huge opportunity to boost all of these things. And there is also a big possibility it could be downgraded in many areas. If you ask Saudi Arabia, we want to boost it in all areas.”

He added: “You don't have the right to interfere in our internal affairs. That's about us Saudis, and no one can do a thing about that. If you believe that you have the right social views and values and if they are strong, then you’ll get a win without pressuring us.”

“Let me give you an example. We didn't get rid of slavery 60 or 70 years ago because we had any pressure. But we had good influences from foreign countries. Saudi people studied abroad, and American companies, European companies, different companies, came and worked in Saudi Arabia. And their influence was strong. We realized that this is wrong and cannot go on and we changed over time and got rid of it.”

“Pressure doesn’t work. Throughout history, it’s never worked with us. If you have the right idea, the right way of thinking, just keep doing it. People will follow if it's the right thing. If it's the wrong thing, then people are going to follow their own way of thinking. And you have to accept it. So for example, in Saudi Arabia, we respect your culture in America, we respect your way of thinking, we respect everything in your country because it's up to you. We wish that we would be treated the same. We disagree with many things that you believe in, but we respect it.”

The Crown Prince pointed out that Saudi Arabia is a G20 country. “You can see our position five years ago; it was almost 20. Today, we are almost 17th among the G20 countries. And we are aiming to reach a place more advanced than 15 by 2030.”

“And Saudi is not a small country, it's a G20 country growing fast. So where is the potential in the world today? It's in Saudi Arabia. And if you want to miss it, I believe other people in the East are going to be super happy to see.”

“The American companies have a huge concentration in Saudi Arabia. We have more than 300,000 Americans in Saudi Arabia, some of them Saudi-American, living in Saudi Arabia, and the number growing every day. So, the interest is obvious. Whether you want to win in Saudi Arabia or lose, is up to you,” he said.

March 03, 2022
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